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October 2021 E-News
Rethinking Our New Normal
"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
When I let go I what I have, I receive what I need."

Lao Tzu

I have learned a lot from Marjory Bankson over the years. Marjory was and remains a close friend of my mom's, which means I first met her as a teenager. As a general rule, teenagers don’t care a great deal about their parent’s friends. It's not how we roll at that age.  But even as a clueless 15 year old, I could tell Marjory was different. There was something in the way she listened and the quality of her questions.  When she spoke, I listened. 

Fast-forward a bunch of years. Marjory served this organization before I did, meaning I had the opportunity to hear her speak and to experience her retreat leadership. We co-led retreats together as I was just getting started in this work. So much of what I learned about facilitating groups was from Marjory. 

We are lucky to have Marjory still leading occasional retreats for Lumunos. There is one this Saturday called Finding a New Normal, and I can’t think of anyone better suited to help people reflect on this transitional time we are in. Read her brief article below to get a sense of her wisdom. Then join us if you can on Saturday (click here to register online).

Doug sig

Finding a New Normal

Now that we are vaccinated and the CDC says we can travel again, the question is: Where? And why? The whole idea of travel for entertainment now feels absurd to me. Even a retreat feels risky. After all, we have been living in retreat mode for a long time – simpler, quieter, more isolated.

But recently, in a class that I’m taking at church, we were asked to make a mask of some being (other than human) at risk of extinction. Since I come from the Pacific Northwest, I took some tinfoil and made a mask that roughly suggested a salmon. When the class gathered on Zoom, I was surprised when tears told me I was on sacred ground – that the salmon I spoke for were suffering from overfishing and warmer seas.

That night, the net of my dreams dredged up a number of large and small losses, some due to the pandemic and some due to my own aging. I began to track those images and realized that finding a new normal begins with grief – something I don’t usually let myself feel.

Then I tried a silent retreat. This time our routines were different (spaced seating; meals outside on trays), but the land was ready to hold us. My heart began to stir around the theme of forgiveness. Gradually, I realized that I had been mad at God! There was something about walking slowly, waiting for sunrise, watching a heron, and responding with color in my journal that began to scour out a new space for wonder and possibility as I pondered forgiveness.

Last week, we made a cross-county trip back to Bellingham WA, where I grew up. My sister and a friend from our Guatemalan pilgrimages suggested the trip, and my heart said “yes” before my caution could say “no.” We visited special places and shared many stories. I came back full of feelings that have no language yet, but I know something has shifted – that a new normal is possible.

In his book, Without Oars, Wes Granberg-Michaelson defines pilgrimage as
“a journey with a holy purpose to a place of spiritual significance.” It will take some time for me to identify the spiritual significance of what has been left behind and what will be useful going forward, but the process has given me hope for a new normal and that is what I want to share with you on this retreat. Whether your pilgrimage is inward or outward, I think you will find the process useful.

Marjory Zoet Bankson
President of Faith@Work (Ret.)                                                                   
Reflection Question

What will you take with you on your new journey?
What will you leave behind?

Upcoming Events
Online Retreat
Oh My Aching Back:
Toward a Spirituality of Health Issues
Led by Doug Wysockey-Johnson

October 21st, 8-9pm ET
To learn more, click here

November 2nd, 7-8pm ET
To learn more, click here
Online Retreat
Finding a New Normal
Led by Marjory Zoet Bankson
October 23rd, 12-3pm ET

To learn more, click here
Online Book Club
Women Becoming
Led by Becca Perry-Hill
November 3rd, 12-1pm ET

To learn more, click here
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Keep in Touch
Let us know what we can do for you.

Doug Wysockey-Johnson doug@lumunos.org    
Dan Quinlan dan@lumunos.org 
Rebecca Perry-Hill becca@lumunos.org
Alice Barbera alice@lumunos.org